Lucas Council Addresses Road Humps and Drainage Issues
Apr. 18, 2019 – Lucas City Council began with children riding in on stick horses and Lucas FR Chief Ted Stephens bouncing in on an inflatable horse. They were promoting the upcoming annual Founders Day Celebration to be held on Saturday, May 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lucas Community Park, located next to City Hall at 665 Country Club Road. A presentation was given by Willow Springs Middle School eighth grade student, Tucker Ashley, titled, “Digital Game Design”.
One agenda item involved considering road humps on Forestview Dr. and Gold Dust Trl. This was a follow up discussion from the council meeting held on Apr. 4. On Apr. 8, a letter was sent to Huntwick residents informing them that they could provide feedback on this topic by attending the Apr. 18 council meeting or emailing/phoning their elected officials. Chief Stephens said that each speed bump increases response time by six to eight seconds. He also said the bigger concern is for the patient in the back of the ambulance.
A resident, who has lived on Forestview Dr. for 22 years, said, “…I am well aware of the traffic that goes through there. We asked for a gate 20 years ago and were turned down. 20 years ago we got the speed bumps and have lived with them for 20 years.” This resident stated that people slow down for the speed bump, but their vehicles drag across the speed bump which results in parts of these cars’ bumpers being left in her yard. She is concerned about the safety of children on this road since she has seen people reach speeds up to 45 mph. She said, “I urge council, before they remove the speed bumps, to have a traffic study done here…Consider alternatives such as speed signs or speed tables.” “Speed tables are midblock traffic calming devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce its traffic speed.” (nacto.org) A second Forestview Dr. resident, who has lived there since 1996, said he agreed with everything the previous resident had said. He added, “Tonight I saw a vehicle bottom out on the speed bump in front of her house. This road wasn’t designed to be a thoroughfare. Without speed calming devices, it will lead to speeds over 70 mph. People try to pass me in the neighborhood. In 1998, the speedbumps were installed. I’m not against safety or against doing what is right for the city…Since I have lived here; I can count on one hand the amount of times emergency vehicles responded to an emergency on this road.” A resident who lives on Estelle Ln., two houses away from Forestview Dr., said her dog was a victim of a hit-and-run, she said, “I shudder to think if that was a kid.” Another resident of Estelle Ln. asked if the speed bumps were removed, would it just be for a limited time. He wondered how many speed tickets would have to be given out before the speed bumps were put back in.
After listening to the residents’ concerns, council voiced appreciation to the residents for presenting their opinions. They asked city staff to look into alternate speed calming devices and provide data on these devices. They asked for staff to provide information at the next council meeting.
Next on the agenda was to consider authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract in an amount not to exceed $29,980 for engineering services associated with drainage analysis of the Lemontree and Kingswood neighborhoods. This would amend the FY 18-19 budget account professional fees 6209-309 using General Fund Reserves.
General Project Scope for the Lemontree Drainage Analysis states: The basin contributing to Reid Branch Tributary 1 is made up of a variety of residential development and a high school. Each addition drains to an adjacent addition before drainage makes its way into Reid Branch Tributary 1. This analysis will research and review the drainage design and calculations from record drawings of the surrounding developments to assess locations with inadequate drainage conveyance capacity. (lucastexas.us/meetings/city-council-april-18-2019/#/tab-agenda)
A resident who lives in Kingswood said he has lived there since 1992 and supports this analysis. He said, “We’ve had a lot more rain than we’ve had lately and never had these problems. Water is coming up from the ground and has cracked my garage.” Another resident was concerned that the analysis only lists Lemontree and not Kingswood. (Mayor Jim Olk agreed that the analysis needed to state Lemontree and Kingswood.) One resident said, “I couldn’t sell my house today because of drainage problems. I really need your help desperately.” Mayor Olk said he lives at the end of Kingswood and has had water lapping at his back door. Council member Phillip Lawrence said, “We have a good percentage of council that lives in this area. We have a dog in this fight. I bought in Lemontree 15 years ago…In order to get this corrected; it will take a lot of dollars. I have neighbors knocking on my door all the time. This is our start to get an idea of a road map to get results.” It was approved unanimously by council to authorize the city manager to enter into the contract for the engineering services. The survey was scheduled to start the next week and in 19 weeks, they are forecasted to have the results of the analysis.